cover image A Fabulous Fair Alphabet

A Fabulous Fair Alphabet

Debra Frasier, S&S/Beach Lane, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4169-9817-4

Frasier (A Birthday Cake Is No Ordinary Cake) has hold of a terrific idea: find photographic examples of all 26 letters of the alphabet amid the garish typography of state fairs. Many of the letters are studded with light bulbs; others suggest the plumpness of a corn dog, or, like a fast-talking carnival hawker, hold out the promise of an unforgettable experience with extravagant serifs, racy scripts, or jaunty two-tone coloring. Frasier then uses the letters in thematic collages—paired with images of fairgoers, animals, and souvenirs—that celebrate aspects of the fair that begin with each letter. Thus Fs become the seats on a Ferris wheel and Ss stand in for children on a giant wavy slide. Visually, the colorful and cluttered spreads evoke the energy of the fair (particularly a "midway nights" spread against a royal blue sky). However, the letters often feel like confetti, rather than being intrinsic to the scenes. "Yawning" and "Zucchini" are a fairly anticlimactic end to the book, but there's at least a hint of the smells and tastes of funnel cakes and cotton candy to be found. All ages. (June)